WASHINGTON — Responding to a press conference by the American Petroleum Institute (API) in which yet more misleading, flawed, and heavily funded Big Oil “research” was presented, Bob Dinneen, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, said:

“API has absolutely no credibility when it comes to talking about E15.  That point has never been more clear than in this new study in which they ‘cooked the books’ by using an aggressive fuel mix to try and force engine damage.  This isn’t real testing and this certainly isn’t real life.  Enough already with the scare tactics.  E15 is rolling forward and API needs to get out the way of progress that will result in a stronger country, a stronger economy, and stronger, cleaner environment.  E15 will not be stopped by feet dragging and forecasts of fictional faults.”


Although a waiver has already been granted by EPA for the use of E15 in 2001 and newer automobiles and light duty vehicles, and two U.S. Court proceedings have dismissed the legal challenge to E15, the oil industry continues to fight higher blends of ethanol in gasoline.  In fact, the data developed by the U.S. Department of Energy that was used as the primary justification by EPA for the approval of E15 remains unduplicated and technically unchallenged.  Research on fuel blends containing more than 10 percent ethanol have been developed by government and non-government organizations, state agencies, academia, and standards development organizations, and more have confirmed them to be effective; the length of time for this project stems from the lack of candidate failures during the early years of the test.  Any test protocol can cause failure if given enough time to choreograph the outcome.

Important Observations

  • The two CRC AVFL 15 test programs confusingly utilized very different fuel sets to evaluate fuel systems.  The initial program investigated an aggressive E20 (20 percent ethanol / 80 percent gasoline with acids and water added) test fuel, E10 and gasoline without ethanol while the follow on program only used gasoline and E15 test fuels.  The test protocols are also very different, most recently utilizing a test protocol not utilized by the auto industry themselves.  Further, CRC has already studied fuel system-related problems and the high corrosion possibility of sulfur species in gasoline- the aggressive test fuel should have already been confirmed as highly reactive to fuel system components.
  • The AVFL-15 project was duplicated by Minnesota State University back in 2008 also using an aggressive E20 test fuel on fuel system components.  Conclusions of the report stated “E20 was found to have a similar effect as E10 and gasoline on fuel pumps and sending units.”  This study acknowledged the support of engine manufacturers such as General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Briggs and Stratton.
  • The aggressive test fuel formulation and level of ethanol concentration is highly questionable as relevant to E15.  There has been no proven correlation to real world fuels to the aggressive formula which dates back to 1993.  Fuel properties have significantly changed in the nearly three decades since this publication.
  • In the same time frame as this CRC project, CRC studied the failure of fuel systems components due to poor gasoline quality which left Florida and Georgia residents stranded on highways. With the completion of the research, a wealth of information has been gained on severe corrosion effects from the sulfur compounds found in gasoline, specifically CRC report “Silver Fuel Level Sensor Corrosion Program.” (2009 Report No. 653)  These “global field problems” were finally acknowledged after many years of customer complaints of inaccurate reading of the amount of fuel in the tank.